I love Philippa Gregory, but I thought this book was spectacularly average, given her talent. Don't get me wrong, the story drew me in, and I liked that the mother-in-law wasn't overtly evil, just meddling enough that you felt sorry for Ruth, and just normal enough that you could put yourself in her shoes also. The husband needed to be smacked! In any case, a good, quick, likeable read.
Ruth and her husband Patricks life change drastically after Ruth loses her job and Patrick is offered an offer he cant refuse. One of the changes is that Patricks overbearing parents have bought them the little house at the end of their road. Patrick thinks it would be great to live so close to his parents and since they have an (unplanned) baby on the way, Patrick finds it to be an ideal situation. Ruth does not feel that way. Ruth and Patricks mother Elizabeth do not get along. In Elizabeths eyes, Ruth cant do anything right. As the story progresses, Elizabeths emotional abuse takes its toll on Ruth until Ruth cant figure out what is real and what is not. Of course, Patrick thinks his mother walks on water and believes everything that she says.
This is my first book that I have read of Gregory that isnt historical fiction and I wasnt disappointed but I wasnt blown away. Throughout reading The Little House my forehead was in a permanent frown because I was just frustrated at times with Ruth and her lack of backbone, Patrick and his bratty ways, Elizabeth with her holier-than-thou attitude and Frederick and his oh-well approach. Gregory does well to make the reader emotionally involved with the characters. The dysfunction of the family itself is intriguing and you figure out really quick that Patrick had no chance at a normal life being raised the way he was and Ruth was just perfect prey for him. How Ruth handles her problem is a bit of a shocker.
If you are looking for an acceptable psychological thriller to read I would suggest The Little House. The beginning is a bit slow but it lays the groundwork for the rest of the story and the ending will surprise you.
Oh. My. God. I did NOT see this ending coming at all!!
Ruth finds herself in a life she didn't want and the ramifications are astounding. This is a story about meddling in-laws, you know the kind?
Read this one. Read it now! It's a good story.
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